From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, everything changes. You might change the way you eat or take different vitamins. You research car seats and cribs. You pick out paint colors for the walls. You want to do everything to prepare.
But did you know that one of the best ways to start protecting your baby against serious diseases is making sure you get the whooping cough (Tdap) and flu vaccines while you’re pregnant?
PROTECT YOUR BABY DURING PREGNANCY
The vaccines you get during your pregnancy will provide your developing baby with disease protection that will last the first months of life after birth. By getting vaccinated during pregnancy, you can pass antibodies to your baby that may help protect against serious diseases.
Your body changes a lot during pregnancy — you’re growing a person! Even if you are generally healthy, your body is working overtime and your immune system is naturally suppressed making you more susceptible to diseases like the flu, and making you more likely to have a severe case of the flu if you catch it. You’re also at risk of pregnancy complications if you catch the flu, such as premature labor and delivery. Getting a flu shot will help protect you and your baby while you are pregnant.
PASS ON THE PROTECTION DURING THE EARLY MONTHS
Babies in the first several months of life are at the greatest risk of severe illness from diseases like whooping cough and the flu and are too young to be vaccinated themselves — early protection is critical. Passing your antibodies on to them in utero by being vaccinated during pregnancy is the only way to help directly protect them.
Once you have protection from the Tdap shot, you are less likely to give whooping cough to your newborn while caring for him or her.
A SAFE CHOICE
You can rest assured that these vaccines are very safe for you and your developing baby. Millions of pregnant women have safely received flu shots, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) closely monitors safety data on the flu vaccine in pregnant women. You can get a flu shot during any trimester of your pregnancy. Your doctor will probably discuss this with you at one of your appointments. If you’re pregnant during flu season, you should get a flu vaccine soon after the vaccine is available.
The whooping cough vaccine also is very safe for you and your developing baby. Doctors and midwives who specialize in caring for pregnant women agree that the whooping cough vaccine is important to get during the third trimester. The recommended time to get the shot is during your 27th through 36th week of pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period.
The whooping cough and flu vaccines can be administered at the same time during your pregnancy or at different visits. Talk to your ob-gyn or midwife if you have questions—they are there to help care for you throughout your pregnancy!
SHARE YOUR STORY
How can you help spread the word about protecting Michigan children from vaccine preventable-diseases? Here are two quick ways:
- Update your Facebook profile picture! Show your pride by using the I Vaccinate filter on your profile photo to let your friends and family know why you choose to vaccinate your child. You can find the Facebook profile picture frame by visiting our Facebook page and looking for the post below, pinned to the top of the news feed.
2. Use the #IVaccinate hashtag to share a photo and tell your story on social media!
It’s easy! Just follow these three simple steps:
- Fill in the blank! Include the hashtags #IVaccinate and #NIAM18 when you share why you choose to vaccinate to join the national conversation about protecting your child from vaccine-preventable diseases.
#IVaccinate because ______________ #NIAM18
- Include a fun photo of your child or something else that symbolizes why you vaccinate.
- Post your story on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same!
By sharing your story, you help spread the word that vaccines are essential to keeping our kids and communities healthy.